LDL Cholesterol: All You Need To Know

couple on the beach

LDL Cholesterol or Low Density Lipoprotein, is a substance that is found in your cells and blood. Majority of it is produced by your Liver and the rest comes from the food that you intake. Cholesterol travels through your body in lipoproteins, bundled up packets.

Cholesterol performs some crucial functions like, it forms and then also maintains cell membrane structures, it makes the membrane more fluid. To adjust to changes in temperature, your cells require cholesterol.

It also makes many hormones that are important and significant like, stress hormone (cortisol) and sex hormones (estrogen, testosterone and progesterone). Cholesterol is used by nerve cells for the purpose of insulation.



Cholesterol comes in two forms, LDL and HDL.


LDL Cholesterol

(Low density lipoprotein) is unhealthy. It is considered as the bad cholesterol. It can build up in your arteries and form plaques. This can lead to further complications as it hinders the smooth blood flow from your heart to other part of the body.

HDL Cholesterol

(High density lipoprotein) is the opposite; it is the healthy cholesterol or good cholesterol. Its job is to transfer excess cholesterol from arteries to your liver, from where it exits the body.

Hence, taking care of your LDL cholesterol is quite important. It gets such bad reputation from the fact that LDL can cause heart attack and many other problems, like stroke etc. LDL has more cholesterol than protein; this phenomenon makes it lighter in weight. It provides cholesterol to the cells that are in need of it by travelling through the bloodstream.

However, it can become oxidized. This causes difficulties like inflammation and can also force the lipids to gather on the walls of vessels, forming a plaque. Gradually, these plaques can increase in size. This can then block smooth blood flow to organs that need it and also, hinder the flow of nutrients to tissues that need it.

High LDL Cholesterol

Build up of cholesterol plaques

There are several reasons as to why you may have high levels of LDL cholesterol. One is inheritance, if your parents have it, then it is highly likely that levels of LDL will also be high in your body. However, it usually occurs due to poor life choices, meaning not having a good diet.

This can impact the levels of LDL in your body and increase it to a risky level.

Here are a few things that can cause high LDL cholesterol:


  • Type 2 Diabetes

High levels of LDL cholesterol or very-low-density lipoprotein can be caused due to high sugar levels. It can also cause a decrease in levels of HDL. Other than that, there are many more negative side effects caused by high sugar levels… one of which is that it can seriously damage the lining of your arteries.


  • Obesity

obese man getting BMI checked

Obesity can lead to many complications, like increased risk of heart disease etc. It can also cause high level of LDL. This is why it is good to keep your weight in check as it can cause serious diseases.

Weight loss is a great way to lower LDL cholesterol.


Lack of physical exercise

This is serious. Many people take pride in being lazy but it is not beneficial for your health. Exercise is important as it provides a shield against many illnesses. Exercising can improve levels of HDL or good cholesterol.

It increases size of the particles that make up LDL, minimizing its dangers to a safe level.


  • Poor Diet

You obviously know how serious of an impact diet makes. You are what you eat. Hence, it is necessary that you eat foods which are healthy for you or else, it can have negative consequences. As mentioned above, a considerate amount of cholesterol in your body comes from the food you eat. So, it is advised to stay away from saturated fats and foods high in cholesterol as they can maximize LDL.


  • Smoking

affects of smoking

Smoking damages walls of your blood vessels. This damage can make it more likely for solid deposits on walls of your vessels, and hence leading to plaque and future complexities.

Smoking cigarettes can also cut down levels of HDL.


Low LDL Cholesterol

Although high LDL can cause illnesses, in very rare cases low LDL cholesterol can lead to medical complications.

Although the information regarding relationship between low LDL and health problems is quite scarce and doctors are still trying to find the dangers of too low LDL cholesterol, it can cause some diseases like:

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • If your cholesterol is low while pregnant, it can lead to low birth weight or preterm birth
  • Depression
  • Hemorrhagic stroke

The risks that having low levels of LDL are still not confirmed. It is still not confirmed if having low LDL cholesterol causes medical diseases or if it’s the other way around. Like, people suffering from depression might have low levels of LDL but it is not confirmed whether low level of LDL can cause things like depression, anxiety and cancer etc.

It is not known what specifically causes this but if you are concerned, then it is suitable that you visit your doctor.

Normal LDL Cholesterol

You can experience an increase in cholesterol level from an early age; this is why it is advised to take precautionary steps (improving diet, exercising etc.) from an earlier time to avoid complications later in life.

This is because years of unmanaged cholesterol can be tricky to treat and can lead to much bigger problems.

In the presence of sunlight, cholesterol is converted to vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin. Liver makes use of cholesterol to produce bile, which is used in digestion and processing of fats.

Cholesterol level for adults

For adults, less than 100 mg/dL levels of LDL cholesterol are advised. However, from 100 to 129 mg/dL are also okay if you are not suffering from any sort of health issues but if you are experiencing heart disease or are at risk, then this is a big concern. Readings more than this are high and need to be taken under consideration.

Cholesterol level for kids

For kids, cholesterol less than 170 mg/dL is acceptable. Higher than 200 is dangerous but cholesterol level from 170 to 199 mg/dL is borderline high.

Child’s LDL cholesterol should be less than an adult. So, it should be less than 110 mg/dL. 110 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL is borderline high and over that is dangerous.

LDL Cholesterol Calculator

Cholesterol Calculator is used to compute the LDL level. You just have to input Total Cholesterol (mg/dl),  HDL Cholesterol (md/dl) and Triglycerides then you will get your Cholesterol level. Find best LDL calculator.


Author Bio:

Anna Steve is an Health IT expert, who built an accomplished reputation for the healthcare system.  She loves to write about the trusted and informative stuff for going to achieve health goals and monitor health system within legitimate ways.

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